Mute Swans

Thursday, August 28th 2014

Yesterday evening volunteers and members of the ringing team visited a farm in Ravensworth to ring Mute Swans. The farmer had been very helpful and lured the birds out of the water before we arrived with a tempting meal of seed.

Once rounded up and caught, the best way to hold and control a swan is to sit astride their bodies and gently hold their necks. Two adults and three cygnets were caught.

The adults had both been ringed previously, one as a cygnet in 1997 at Thorpe Perrow, the longevity record for a swan is 28 years and 20 days, so at 17 years old this bird is a relative youngster! The other was ringed as an adult on the same farm in 2009. All three cygnets were ringed before being released.

Once all the data was recorded and we had finished the birds happily regrouped and returned to the pond. We must say a big thank you to the farmers who allow us to come and ring these birds, and also to the group of volunteers who helped us to catch and hold the swans during this process.

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